Episode 15 Animal 24:7


Episode 15

The race is on at Chichester harbour to try to save a beached whale. The RSPCA try to encourage one dog owner to clean up their act, and Tom Heap feeds a group of baby mice.


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Transcript


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Britain's animals are under threat.

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All too often our wildlife and domestic pets

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are the victims of cruelty,

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persecution and neglect.

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Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people

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trying to protect and care for them right around the clock.

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This is Animal 24:7.

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In the air, on land

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and in the water, Britain is a haven for animals.

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But when they come up against man,

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their lives are often in danger.

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From our cramped inner cities to our fields and hedgerows,

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from the highest moorland to the coast and beyond,

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Animal 24:7 is with the people working around the clock

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to save endangered wildlife and protect vulnerable pets.

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These are their stories.

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Today on Animal 24:7, the pooches' playground

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that's packed with danger.

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Well, it was all clear, but it doesn't help with Lee's mates

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-chucking cans out the window.

-No, it doesn't.

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Cor, how much beer does he get through?

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Free Billy, the race to save a beached whale.

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We're extremely worried at the moment,

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-because she's in the process of drowning.

-Drowning?

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She's on her side, blowhole is going in and out of the water.

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And mice and easy. I need the gentle touch

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to feed these tiny mouths.

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-How often do you have to do this?

-We feed these about every hour.

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-Every hour?

-Yes.

-I just love his little hands gripping the end of the syringe.

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First, owning a pet comes with great responsibility.

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They need to be fed, watered and if you opt for man's best friend, they need exercising.

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It's also important that the area they live and play in is safe

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and hazard free, but all too often the RSPCA

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come across people whose pets are being kept in dirty and dangerous conditions.

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Meet Sandy, Sally...

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and Titch, three dogs sharing their garden with a whole heap of junk.

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For the pets, it's something of an adventure playground.

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There's an old sofa to chew, some great vantage points and even a mattress for sunbathing.

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But the dogs are blissfully unaware of the dangers posed by their home,

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and so, it seems, are their owners.

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RSPCA inspector Edwina Davidson wants to give some advice on how to make their garden more dog-friendly,

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and it's not the first time she's been here.

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The dogs are at home, though it seems their owners aren't.

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But then Sam and partner Lee come round the corner.

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Hiya! The RSPCA.

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I've basically just had a call about the dogs, again, yeah, so if you don't mind, I thought,

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"I know you anyway, I'll come and see how you're getting on."

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If there's anything else I can do to help and what have you,

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-then we can see. How are you managing with them? All right?

-Yeah. Be careful with Sally, Lee.

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-In!

-Come on, then.

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Come on, this way!

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The dogs have fresh water, but like the garden, the kitchen's also hazardous.

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Oh, yeah, there's a bit of glass round there, isn't there?

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-Let's try and get them out the way.

-Titch! Lee, she wants them outside.

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The dogs are clearly excitable, and left on their own, one of them has smashed a glass.

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Yeah, shall we clean that little bit of glass up, then?

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That's quite funny cos the call we've had is about the dogs being sometimes outside in the garden

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with glass and sort of debris around. I know, I've come and there's a broken glass in the kitchen.

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It's kind of weird timing. What you might need to just do, when you do go out, make sure there's nothing

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-sort of tail height or...

-It's Sandy, she's like a kangaroo, she'll jump up.

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-Yeah...

-Like once we went out and left that open, and she managed to jump from down there,

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-up there, through the window and out in the back garden.

-Yeah, OK.

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I think it's just kind of damage limitation, isn't it?

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Try and keep things out of the way that they could knock over and break.

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-You can tell they're well looked after, they're all happy.

-Yeah. No, absolutely.

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The happiness of these dogs isn't in question.

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It's their environment that Edwina's worried about.

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It's amazing they're all so healthy when you take a look at where they're playing.

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Sam and Lee's discarded household objects

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have created a place where a serious accident is waiting to happen.

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In amongst the broken furniture lie sharp glass and metal that are a real danger

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to Sally, Sandy and Titch.

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-What you need to do is just have a bit of a clear-up out here.

-Yeah.

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There's stuff that they could cut themselves on, isn't there?

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You know, bits of plastic, they could get their claws caught in, the wire rack, that kind of thing,

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the empty cans - all of that stuff can cause them some problems and injuries.

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She has got a little bit of blood on her claw, actually.

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-I don't know whether that's...

-Come here a minute.

-Oh, is that...?

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Oh, no, that's nail varnish, in fact.

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Has she been painting her nails?!

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That was the other day when she tried to eat it.

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She obviously just likes painting her nails.

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But it's not Titch that needs a makeover, the garden's in desperate need of a clear-up.

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And it's not just about safety, it's about basic hygiene, too.

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It's the environment bit that we need to change, OK?

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It's just good practice to clear up if there's any dog poo lying around, yeah, just to keep that clear.

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And you need to keep it free from hazards, so clearing up anything that can hurt them.

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-Can the council clear it away or...?

-We're hoping to sort that out.

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-The council are meant to clear it away, I've just got to sort my money.

-Yeah, OK, all right, OK.

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Sam clearly loves her three dogs, so Edwina really doesn't want to take them away from her.

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But this is a serious situation, and if things don't improve in the near future, she'll have no option

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but to take things further.

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What I'll say, then, if by the same date, by that Friday, 25th,

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if you can have cleared up the bits you can do, yeah?

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So any glass, cans, bits of plastic, anything like that that could cause them any injury.

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Cos the sofa, they're not going to get hurt on that, or the mattress.

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-Well, no, Sandy seems to sunbathe on both of them.

-Right, OK.

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-She loves the sun.

-Fair enough. All right, fair enough. So any sharp debris, OK?

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Remove...sharp...

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..or dangerous... CRASH!

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Oi!

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..objects...

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-from garden.

-Yes!

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They rule this place, don't they?

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We know who's in charge.

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Shut up!

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Sam's taken on the advice and has promised to tidy up

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but, before Edwina leaves, she's asked for some more help.

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Sally has an old injury that seems to be causing some problems.

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-The one she had most recently?

-Yes.

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One of her legs, she had it broken...

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-Oh, right.

-..when she was a pup. It keeps weeping, but it's not blood, it's like...gunge.

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Well, if you can get her in on her own...

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Sally is brought into the living room so Edwina can take a closer look at her leg.

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We'll go through there. It's a bit lighter.

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-OK, sweetheart.

-Calm down.

-Are you going on your bed?

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Which leg is it? This front one here? Oh, I can see.

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But it's like when she catches it, it weeps, and it kind of worries me.

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Yeah, it is a bit wet there.

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But that's quite well healed, isn't it? Scar tissue.

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-Does she lick it? Is she sort of licking at it?

-Yeah.

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OK. Are you registered at the PDSA?

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Not with this one, no.

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Well, I would say that you should take her to the vet and have that checked out.

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-Right.

-Because while it looks like there is quite a nice bit of scar tissue there where it's healed over,

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it is a little bit swollen, isn't it, in places? And if it is weeping, it might just be that she'll need

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a little bit of antibiotic or something to clear it up.

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Edwina advises Sam to register with a veterinary charity so Sally's leg can be examined free of charge.

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-Brilliant, thank you very much, Sam, and I'll see you on or around the 25th.

-Yeah, that's fine.

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The RSPCA always try to work with people to help them care for their pets,

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but Sandy, Sally and Titch shouldn't have to live in this garden.

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In a couple of weeks' time, Edwina will find out if they've got a safer place to play.

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Still to come, double the danger, the risks for these playful pooches

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just keeps on growing.

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The things I was most concerned about has kind of got worse, really, hasn't it?

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And open wide, the chirpy chicks enjoying their morning meal.

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A bit like feeding my kids, got to share it all out fairly.

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OK, OK!

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Whale sightings on the coast of Britain are rare, and sadly it can often mean the animal's in danger.

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On the south coast, experts have spent the last day monitoring

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a northern bottle-nosed whale that has somehow found its way into Chichester harbour.

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The team have spent an anxious night hoping the whale would find its way back out to sea,

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but the morning has brought them the news they were dreading.

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Dawn over the normally picturesque Chichester harbour revealed this harrowing sight for rescuers.

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The whale has beached on the mud flats.

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It's still alive, so now the race is on to save it.

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Could you alert your animal-rescue team that the whale at Hayling Island has stranded?

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Trevor Weeks from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue is in charge of the operation.

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His team have been keeping a close eye on the whale,

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hoping it would swim back out to sea.

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One of our land crews has found the animal.

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It was here all day yesterday,

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and we feared that this morning it was going to strand in the low tide,

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and it has done,

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so we are now mobilising all our crews to get out there and see what we can do to help the poor animal.

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Thankfully, stranded whales are a rare occurrence,

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but Trevor and his team are on standby 24 hours a day

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to respond to marine emergencies, and they practise all the time.

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Yeah, don't worry, I'm just going to come over and assess it first.

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But today is for real.

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You can just about see the whale on top of the mud flats here.

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That's quite worrying, the fact that it's stranded that high up on the mud flats,

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which means this animal probably stranded in the early hours

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of this morning, so it's probably been beached for several hours, which is very worrying indeed.

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So I just hope we can get it off there,

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but the size of this animal is going to make our job very, very difficult.

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If Trevor is going to save the whale, he needs as much information as possible.

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-Has it been lifting its head at all?

-It was moving its head up slightly, breathing quite a lot.

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He's briefed by marine medic Steve, who made the discovery.

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And it's on its right-hand side, isn't it?

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Yeah, and around it is about ten inches of water either...

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-Well, I could only see the belly side, but it's about ten...

-Tail's on the go at the moment.

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It's alive at the moment - it's moving its head and its tail,

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so we need to get... Oh, dear! Poor thing.

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He may be breathing, but this magnificent mammal is in a life-threatening position.

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If he's not dug out within five hours,

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his organs will be crushed under seven tonnes of his own weight.

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We're parking in the Ship Inn car park, which is the northern end of the Langstone Bridge.

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To make matters worse, the whale is stuck in deep mud and the tide is coming in.

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Yeah, see you shortly. Cheers.

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It's too dangerous for Trevor to get close on his own.

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He's going to need the fire brigade's help.

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Oh...

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This is so frustrating.

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Mud is such a difficult environment for us to work in.

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I just hope she's going to survive.

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A few long minutes later, the fire crews arrive ready to join the rescue.

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Hello, mate.

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-This is Paul Moss.

-Hello, Paul. Nice to meet you, Paul.

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Would I be right in saying the first priority would be water on the whale?

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The first priority is to do an assessment and then to get first-aid measures in place.

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So if we did those in parallel, we'd be strike one and two on our way. If we get all the equipment we need

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to pump water from there, with a hose reel all the way out to there,

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-we're going to need plenty of labour.

-Yes.

-OK with that?

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We'll help wherever we can.

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Every minute matters now. The beached bottlenose has been landlocked since dawn.

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He's severely dehydrated.

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You're looking at three to four hours so we don't have long.

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The whale can breathe because it's a mammal, but its skin is drying out.

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He needs water, and he needs it quickly.

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Fire-fighters set up pumps from a nearby pond and, at last,

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the team can begin the dangerous journey across the mud flats to hose down the whale.

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The conditions are incredibly difficult, but they're determined to get there.

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OK, let's get this going.

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Finally, with the pumps working, the whale gets the water it desperately needs.

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Stage one of the rescue is under way.

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Oh, good, he is covering it, that's good. Well done, mate!

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8am, three hours since the team found this beached whale,

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and the second stage of the rescue operation has begun.

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I only really want five British Divers people out here, no more than that.

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But it's slow work. Digging a 25 foot whale out of the mud is going to take time.

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Time that no-one has.

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And now the tide's coming in, and conditions are worsening.

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The ground's virtually impassable.

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There's always one that gets stuck.

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Fire-fighters create a safe path using special mud platforms.

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But then, worryingly, things take a turn for the worse.

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We are in a damn difficult situation here.

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The trench the team have dug is filling with water.

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We need to get this water away from here.

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With the whale lying on its side, that water is starting to block the blowhole the whale uses to breathe.

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Now tragically there's a real chance this seven tonne mammal could drown in just several inches of water.

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-Get some of this water away.

-Is that for his blowhole?

-Yes.

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The team use buckets and even their bare hands to help the whale in his battle to breathe.

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-That's a bit better.

-Meanwhile, Trevor comes back to shore to wait for the vet.

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The problem we've got is that we need to get the water that's around the animal away,

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but at the same time we've got to keep the animal wet by putting water on it,

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so it's a bit of a catch 22 situation.

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Also, at the moment we really need to get a channel dug

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so we stand a chance of getting the animal moving into deep water.

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If we can't get it moved within two hours, the internal organs will be crushed to the point of no return.

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That is our biggest problem at the moment.

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By nine o'clock, a vet's on the scene.

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Richard Edwards is filled in by an anxious Trevor.

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-What's the situation?

-A 7.5 metre long northern bottlenose whale.

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-We're extremely worried because she's in the process of drowning.

-Drowning?

-Yes.

-Turned over?

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-She's on her side, the blowhole is going in and out of the water.

-Right. OK. Can you dig it out?

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-We are trying to do that.

-I'm going to go out there now...

-I can't allow you to without a lifejacket on.

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-There should be some lifejackets here though.

-I'll go and get my kit.

-Yes? Lovely.

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Rescuers are working tirelessly to save the whale but with time against them the outlook is bleak.

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All chances of saving this majestic mammal are slowly slipping away.

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It's a very difficult situation out there and I really don't know how this is going to turn out.

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I really feel for this animal the moment.

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Still to come, high tide and high danger. The epic struggle

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to save a seven tonne whale.

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-Get out of there now, before you're crushed.

-Come on.

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Get out mate, now!

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And will Sam realise why her back garden is a danger zone for her pets?

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Think about walking around out there in your bare feet.

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Can I walk around here in my bare feet and not get my feet cut?

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-Yes.

-Yes? Right.

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This is Weirfield Wildlife Hospital on the outskirts of Lincoln, where they deal with all kinds of animals

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from our countryside and they're very busy at this time of year.

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So busy in fact that the boss here, Ali Townsend, wants me to go straight in and meet her.

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You never know what's going to be behind the door.

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Weirfield helps all sorts of baby animals back to the wild

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and although they all need round-the-clock care,

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it's the tiny ones that need that little bit extra.

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And I'm here to help with the latest arrivals.

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This lady's brought these baby house martins.

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-Oh, right?

-Can you tell me a little bit about them?

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They were nesting in the apex of my house.

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This morning when I found them, the nest was all on the floor and the birds

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were all scattered around on the floor.

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So I thought I'd better ring the RSPCA and they advised me to come here.

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-Right. So have they actually had anything to eat?

-No.

-Right. And they've been kept fairly warm?

-Yes.

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Right, fine. Not a problem at all.

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What would cause a nest to collapse like that?

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Unfortunately house martin nests are made of mud

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and if it gets very, very wet, they'll just turn to slush and drop down.

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Or they get very, very dry and do exactly the same.

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-So they haven't liked our wet summer very much?

-No, probably not.

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-I've heard you mention feeding. Is that the priority of the treatment with these little birds?

-It is.

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Little and often and as much as we can get down them really.

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They have to be away by the beginning of October, so they've got the energy to fly to Africa.

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'These house martins are going to take up a lot of Ali's time and attention.

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'The priority now is to leave them to settle in before attempting the difficult job of feeding them.

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'In the meantime, there's another group of tiny orphans that need some help.'

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They were quite young when they came in, not even got their eyes open.

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So we're still actually topping them up for milk,

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although this one is trying to eat on his own.

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We've got a syringe with special milk in it. It's already warmed.

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We've got a very, very fine end on the end of your syringe.

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You're going to pick your mice up, or one of them.

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Do you think it's to stop the others getting away?

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Yes, but once they start, look...

0:19:040:19:07

Try and do it so he's downwards, so that you're not choking him.

0:19:070:19:10

If you've got him too far up, he might ingest the milk in to his lungs.

0:19:100:19:15

-How often do you have to do this?

-We're feeding these about every hour.

0:19:150:19:19

-Every hour?

-Yes.

0:19:190:19:20

I just love his little hands gripping the end of the syringe.

0:19:200:19:23

It's something they learn quickly.

0:19:230:19:26

'With tummies no bigger than a garden pea,

0:19:280:19:31

'these tiny babies are quickly full up

0:19:310:19:33

'and more than ready to have a little sleep.'

0:19:330:19:36

Put these back in to the incubator.

0:19:360:19:38

'Next in the dinner queue are four hungry swallows.

0:19:380:19:41

'Ali's been caring for these birds for a whole month now and they've gone from strength to strength.'

0:19:410:19:45

As with the mice, feeding is the route to recovery?

0:19:450:19:49

Yes, little and often.

0:19:490:19:51

These birds will take as much as you can put in them every 15 minutes.

0:19:510:19:55

All right. Well, I'd better see how it works.

0:19:550:19:57

These are almost ready for release.

0:19:570:19:59

OK? So, these are mealworms.

0:19:590:20:01

-These obviously know that you're going to feed them.

-They look keen.

0:20:010:20:05

So, you're going to pick them up and you're just going to feed them.

0:20:050:20:08

While you're doing that, I'm going to get settled the new ones that have come in this morning.

0:20:080:20:13

Just open their mouth and down they go.

0:20:130:20:15

A bit like feeding my kids, I've got to share it all out fairly.

0:20:150:20:19

-OK, Tom. How are you doing?

-I think those are four pretty well stuffed birds.

0:20:220:20:26

Jolly good. Do you want to give me a hand over here?

0:20:260:20:29

'The swallows have clearly benefited from regular meals.

0:20:290:20:32

'So now it's time to get the house martins on the road to recovery.'

0:20:320:20:36

These are the four new arrivals that we took in earlier.

0:20:360:20:41

As you can see, compared to the ones that you've been feeding, these are a lot smaller.

0:20:410:20:46

It's still the same principle.

0:20:460:20:48

Just open the mouth very slightly.

0:20:480:20:49

You've just got to put your finger nail in the corner of their mouth.

0:20:490:20:52

-It's like opening an oyster.

-Yes. These will probably be fed every 15 minutes.

-Every 15 minutes.

-Yes.

0:20:520:20:57

That one's full, I would say.

0:20:570:21:01

-Mm-hm.

-Do you want to be brave and have a go?

0:21:010:21:04

Yes, it does look quite tricky. I'll pick up a not too big one.

0:21:040:21:07

Do you think that's a bit big for him?

0:21:070:21:10

Just turn the mealworm so it goes down pointy end first.

0:21:100:21:14

I rather messed that one up trying to get the worm in.

0:21:140:21:17

It was like trying to eat corn on the cob sideways.

0:21:170:21:20

That's it. That's them all fed. At least for 15 minutes and they now need to go back in the incubator.

0:21:200:21:24

Every 15 minutes! Amazing, isn't it?

0:21:240:21:27

'As the newly-fed house martins are left to rest and build up their strength, Ali decides it's time

0:21:270:21:34

for a test flight to see if the older group of swallows are strong enough to be released.

0:21:340:21:39

First of all we will try them in the hospital to see if they fly.

0:21:390:21:43

So they just fly up and down here?

0:21:430:21:45

-Yes.

-If they do that happily...good to go?

-We can release them.

0:21:450:21:48

-Hmm, what do you make of that one?

-He's just practising.

0:21:510:21:55

'At first, it seems the swifts might not be ready fly Ali's nest just yet.

0:21:550:22:00

'Then there's no stopping them!'

0:22:000:22:02

Now they're both going. This one came down by the window over here.

0:22:050:22:09

Just send him back to give him a bit more.

0:22:090:22:12

They're certainly flying. Do they look fit enough?

0:22:140:22:17

I think they look fine. I think that went very well, actually.

0:22:170:22:20

-A little bit chaotic, but delivered nonetheless. Hello. Pretty...

-You have two and I'll have two.

0:22:200:22:26

'Ali's happy, so it's time to return the four swifts to the skies.'

0:22:260:22:33

-What's the knack here?

-Right.

0:22:330:22:35

-We have to do it as fairly flat as you can.

-Right?

0:22:350:22:39

Obviously not letting them go too soon.

0:22:390:22:41

-Literally throw them in the air.

-Both at once, d'you think?

-Do you want to do mine first?

0:22:410:22:45

-Yours first and then mine?

-Yes.

-OK. Let's fling them up.

-Then you can watch it.

-OK.

-Ready?

0:22:450:22:49

Whoa!

0:22:520:22:54

-OK. Get yours to go as well.

-That looks good.

0:22:540:22:57

One, two...

0:22:570:22:58

That's certainly a few weeks' work well done. Don't they look fit?

0:23:050:23:08

-Yes, very good.

-Kings of the sky.

-Up they go and away.

-But it's been incredible amount of work for you.

0:23:080:23:14

It is a lot of work and it is very difficult at times

0:23:140:23:17

to get them over that first initial shock, but when you get to release

0:23:170:23:21

four like today, I mean, that's what is all about.

0:23:210:23:24

That's why we do it and that's why we put as much effort into it.

0:23:240:23:28

And with Ali's round-the-clock care it hopefully won't be too long

0:23:310:23:36

before the mice and house martins are also on their way home.

0:23:360:23:39

Still to come, the whale breaks free,

0:23:500:23:52

but the rescue mission is far from over.

0:23:520:23:55

If it swims off of its own accord, we're then down to an exercise

0:23:550:23:58

to try and guide it back out again. But the problem we've got

0:23:580:24:01

is if it then strays again, we'll have no option but to put it down.

0:24:010:24:04

Now we're back to the story of Sandy, Sally and Titch,

0:24:070:24:12

the three dogs living in a garden that resembled a rubbish tip.

0:24:120:24:16

On RSPCA Inspector Edwina Davison's last visit, she found the dogs

0:24:160:24:21

were playing in an area filled with old furniture and, more worryingly, sharp tins and glass.

0:24:210:24:28

One of the dogs, Sally, was also recovering from a broken leg

0:24:280:24:32

and Edwina was concerned that it wasn't healing properly.

0:24:320:24:36

In Chaddesden, Derbyshire, it's time to find out if Sally, Sandy and Titch have a safer place to play.

0:24:420:24:49

Edwina Davison also asked for one of the dogs, Sally, to have her leg seen by a vet.

0:24:490:24:54

She's hoping all her advice hasn't been ignored.

0:24:540:24:58

Hey up, Sam. Are you all right?

0:24:580:24:59

-How are you doing?

-Fine thank you.

-Someone's been to the vet then.

-Yes.

-Come on then.

0:24:590:25:03

Come on then, in you come. Come on then. Come on then, sweeties.

0:25:030:25:08

So far, so good.

0:25:080:25:10

Edwina's pleased to see that Sally has had her leg examined.

0:25:100:25:14

And it seems there was a problem after all. The leg was infected

0:25:140:25:17

and the vet needed to replace the original metal plate.

0:25:170:25:21

It's a good job she went back and had it done really, isn't it?

0:25:210:25:24

Thanks to Edwina's help, Sally's on the mend and there are more changes afoot.

0:25:240:25:29

Sam's decided that three pets aren't enough

0:25:290:25:31

and has added a new addition to the family.

0:25:310:25:34

Right. Is it a little boy or girl?

0:25:340:25:37

Well, we think it's a boy. We've been told it's a boy, but he hasn't got his bits yet.

0:25:370:25:41

-Well, how old is he?

-Well, when we got him we got told he was 12 weeks.

0:25:410:25:45

Only about three months then. So, once he gets to six months it would be a good idea to have him neutered.

0:25:450:25:49

That's what we were planning and to have his injections.

0:25:490:25:52

Well, if you like I could give you a neutering voucher for him.

0:25:520:25:56

Things are going really well, but will the back garden be any tidier?

0:25:560:26:01

On first inspection, things look pretty good.

0:26:040:26:07

The bric-a-brac and old furniture has vanished.

0:26:070:26:10

But in fact conditions are worse than ever.

0:26:140:26:16

The garden is still littered with dangerous objects

0:26:180:26:21

and the number of hazardous tin cans has more than doubled.

0:26:210:26:26

-You got rid of the sofa.

-Yes.

0:26:260:26:27

We burnt that, we burnt everything...

0:26:270:26:30

So the garden furniture's gone.

0:26:300:26:32

Yes...the things I was most concerned about has kind of got worse really, hasn't it?

0:26:320:26:39

Which is the cans and the sharp staff.

0:26:390:26:42

-Oh, right. Yes.

-Yes? I mean, it's better, because they obviously, they like standing on this bit.

0:26:420:26:47

-Yes.

-And they're going to run around more up here, which is lovely. There's more space to run around.

0:26:470:26:53

We've started to cut it. All he's got to do is get some more strimming wire, that's all he's run out of.

0:26:530:26:59

Yes. To be honest, from the dogs' point of view, strimming it and cutting back bushes doesn't matter.

0:26:590:27:04

It's just getting rid of the cans and stuff.

0:27:040:27:07

Sam's got a lot more to worry about than an overgrown lawn.

0:27:070:27:11

The conditions these dogs are living in are simply not good enough.

0:27:110:27:14

With so many sharp objects, any of the pets could sustain a nasty injury.

0:27:140:27:19

-Well, it was clear, but it doesn't help with Lee's mates chucking the cans out of the window.

-No.

0:27:190:27:24

How much beer does he get through?

0:27:240:27:27

-Believe it or not, he doesn't drink it.

-Doesn't he?

0:27:270:27:30

Edwina's keen to stick with Sam and give her a third and final chance.

0:27:310:27:35

I think we're going to need a little bit of another timescale for clearing this lot up.

0:27:350:27:40

-Right. Yes.

-Yes? What about the week after next?

0:27:400:27:43

-Yes. That's fine.

-Yes?

-We've got his mates coming round, so...

-Well, there you go then.

0:27:430:27:49

-Lee's got a bit of a hand.

-Yes, brilliant.

0:27:490:27:51

Hopefully with the help of her friends the garden will improve.

0:27:510:27:56

Edwina spells out what she expects to see.

0:27:560:28:00

-Anything sharp.

-Yes.

-Think about it. If you were out there and you're walking around in your bare feet...

0:28:000:28:05

-Yes.

-Yes? Right. Because that's what they're doing, isn't it, really?

0:28:050:28:08

-So if you just think, "Can I walk around here in my bare feet and not get my feet cut?" Yes?

-Yes.

-Right.

0:28:080:28:16

And I'll come back in a couple of weeks and you're going to be able to walk out there with no shoes on.

0:28:160:28:21

-All right?

-Yes.

-Lovely.

0:28:210:28:23

Although there's still some way to go, Edwina's happy that Sam is at least trying to make things better.

0:28:230:28:29

'I'd really like to think that there will be a change in two weeks and I remain optimistic.

0:28:290:28:35

'However if not, it's something that I'll just have to keep coming back to. So until that time

0:28:350:28:40

'I think it's just going to require a lot of patience and a lot of time, unfortunately.'

0:28:400:28:45

But Edwina can't wait forever.

0:28:450:28:47

If things don't improve, she may decide this garden

0:28:470:28:50

is just too dangerous for Sandy, Sally and Titch to play in.

0:28:500:28:54

-Later...

-You're barmy, aren't you?

0:28:580:29:01

Is it a life behind bars for Jodie the hound?

0:29:010:29:03

In all honesty, is she in there sometimes because she is very, very lively? Because she is like this?

0:29:030:29:11

No, no she's not in there because she's lively.

0:29:110:29:13

Back in West Sussex, the rescue team are battling

0:29:160:29:20

to save a northern bottlenose whale thousands of miles from home and stranded in mud flats.

0:29:200:29:26

Blood samples hold the key to knowing whether the whale beached on purpose, or because he was ill,

0:29:260:29:33

or whether he simply got lost.

0:29:330:29:35

Now the vet's arrived to find out.

0:29:350:29:38

10.30am, and things are looking bleak.

0:29:430:29:47

If the team don't save the whale soon, his organs will be damaged forever.

0:29:470:29:51

We've probably got about an hour to an hour-and-a-half left before we hit our large-animal limit.

0:29:510:29:57

-OK.

-And then it's basically beyond repair.

-OK.

0:29:570:29:59

Time to step up the rescue plans.

0:29:590:30:02

Trevor wants to put inflatable stretchers, called pontoons,

0:30:020:30:05

beneath the bottlenose to get him floating again as the tide comes in around him.

0:30:050:30:10

Well, the water's coming in pretty quickly now, so we've just sent the rescue pontoons out there.

0:30:100:30:16

But this is pretty difficult.

0:30:160:30:18

It's a very dangerous environment they're working out there.

0:30:180:30:21

If the fire brigade pull us out, we're going to have to come out.

0:30:210:30:24

But that water's coming in very rapidly.

0:30:240:30:27

But I'm hoping that because the animal is in soft mud and is relatively stable,

0:30:270:30:32

that we might be able to get this one turned round.

0:30:320:30:35

But it's still a very difficult call at the moment.

0:30:350:30:38

The whale's been covered in a special sheet to prevent

0:30:390:30:42

his skin drying out, and vet Richard Edwards begins taking blood samples.

0:30:420:30:46

These will be rushed to a lab for tests that will tell

0:30:460:30:50

the team whether this whale beached itself because of an illness.

0:30:500:30:54

With the samples taken, the team get the pontoon into position.

0:30:540:30:59

Can we get three straps underneath?

0:30:590:31:02

-Oh, yeah.

-Go for it.

-Yeah.

0:31:020:31:03

Do it, please. Yes, now. We'll start getting that involved now.

0:31:030:31:06

-That's great.

-We'll need at least three straps, possibly four.

0:31:060:31:09

Back onshore, the news of this potential tragedy is spreading fast.

0:31:090:31:15

The media pack have come to Chichester, eager to catch a glimpse of the stricken whale.

0:31:150:31:22

The experts out there don't know why it is 3,000 miles away from where it should be.

0:31:220:31:27

They don't know whether there are any underlying medical problems.

0:31:270:31:30

Along with the locals, they've nicknamed the bottlenose Billy.

0:31:300:31:34

They're all willing him to survive.

0:31:340:31:36

Trevor's next job is to let them know how it's going.

0:31:360:31:39

The vet has just taken some blood samples, which are going off to a laboratory for testing.

0:31:390:31:43

They're on their way now.

0:31:430:31:45

We won't refloat the animal unless we've got those blood results back.

0:31:450:31:49

Do you just have the one chance at high tide?

0:31:490:31:53

Yes, we really only have one chance of getting the animal back and floated in water.

0:31:530:31:57

If this animal strands again, it will not be able to cope with stranding twice.

0:31:570:32:00

-Thank you for the update.

-Lovely. Hopefully, we'll know more in an hour's time.

-Thank you, Trevor.

0:32:000:32:06

OK.

0:32:060:32:07

Trevor makes his way back out to Billy.

0:32:070:32:09

But with the tide coming in fast, conditions are getting even worse. He takes the difficult decision

0:32:090:32:14

to tell many of the rescuers that they have to head back to the safety of the shore.

0:32:140:32:19

British Divers people,

0:32:200:32:22

if you've not been told to stay,

0:32:220:32:25

can you please make your way back to shore?

0:32:250:32:28

As the remaining crew continue the fight, the others head back

0:32:280:32:31

to dry land, exhausted from their three hour battle in the mud.

0:32:310:32:36

Really, really difficult to deal with, yeah.

0:32:360:32:39

You can't really move around much at all.

0:32:390:32:42

You can't even step off the pontoons at the moment

0:32:420:32:44

so it's really, really tough work.

0:32:440:32:47

It's not just tough, it's also dangerous. But while the water

0:32:470:32:51

may be making things difficult for people, it could be a bonus for Billy.

0:32:510:32:55

With the water coming in, it may well refloat itself.

0:32:550:32:59

But what happens then I don't know.

0:32:590:33:01

If it swims off of its own accord, we're then down to an exercise of trying to guide it back out again.

0:33:010:33:06

But the problem we've got, if it then strands again we'll have no option but to put it down.

0:33:060:33:12

The deeper the water gets, the more treacherous this rescue

0:33:120:33:15

is becoming for the small crew left by the giant mammal's side.

0:33:150:33:19

Then, as Billy begins to move, one of the team finds his own life in danger.

0:33:190:33:25

OK, you in the front, get out of there now, before you're crushed.

0:33:250:33:30

Get out, mate, now!

0:33:310:33:33

-I'm all right.

-You're not. Get out.

-Now!

-Get out.

0:33:330:33:37

Safety has to come first.

0:33:370:33:39

It's no longer sensible to be this close to Billy.

0:33:390:33:42

The teams have to take to their boats.

0:33:420:33:46

At 11.30, Billy's finally free from the mud.

0:33:490:33:53

But will he want to head out to sea?

0:33:530:33:56

Even in the shallow water,

0:33:580:34:01

Billy finds the strength to break clear of the pontoon

0:34:010:34:05

and, at last, he enjoys his first taste of freedom,

0:34:050:34:08

giving the media the shots they've been waiting for.

0:34:080:34:12

TV crews beam the pictures of free Billy to a relieved audience.

0:34:160:34:21

The whale broke free from the pontoon

0:34:210:34:24

and for the last five minutes has been just floating here,

0:34:240:34:29

swimming round in circles.

0:34:290:34:31

But the drama is far from over, as he makes a beeline for the shore,

0:34:310:34:34

trying to beach himself again.

0:34:340:34:37

One of the team bravely heads him off and tries to coax him back out towards deeper water.

0:34:370:34:43

It's just a waiting game now to see if, hopefully, with the tide, as the tide goes out,

0:34:430:34:48

the whale will follow the tide back out into the main channel.

0:34:480:34:53

More canoes join the desperate attempt to get Billy going in the right direction.

0:34:530:34:58

But the way he's behaving suggests something's badly wrong,

0:34:580:35:02

and it's not long until everyone's worst fears are confirmed.

0:35:020:35:05

Billy's blood results are back.

0:35:050:35:07

The blood results are very definitive.

0:35:070:35:10

They show is that the animal has kidney failure,

0:35:100:35:12

which means that the kidneys are not functioning properly.

0:35:120:35:15

There's also some muscle damage.

0:35:150:35:17

What it tells us is that rescuing this whale is not feasible now,

0:35:170:35:21

and all we can do is to humanely euthanise the animal at the earliest opportunity. That's what we'll do.

0:35:210:35:27

OK? Thank you. We will give you another statement when we can.

0:35:270:35:31

It's now clear that Billy beached himself on purpose because he was too ill to be at sea.

0:35:310:35:38

It's a bitter blow for Trevor and his team after their heroic six hour rescue attempt.

0:35:380:35:43

It's not a case of the kidneys are failing, they HAVE failed,

0:35:430:35:48

which is a big problem here, which unfortunately means there is just no turning back.

0:35:480:35:53

So this poor thing is going to have to be put to sleep, which...

0:35:530:35:57

We don't like it, but it's the kindest thing for the animal.

0:35:570:36:02

And sure enough, Billy beached again four hours later.

0:36:040:36:08

The vets finally put an end to his misery.

0:36:080:36:11

Now, earlier in the programme, we met three dogs whose cluttered playground was putting them at risk.

0:36:180:36:24

On two separate visits, RSPCA inspector Edwina Davidson told the owners to clear the dangerous junk.

0:36:240:36:32

Now Edwina's on her way to see if they've finally listened to her advice.

0:36:320:36:35

But first she has to visit a dog who, according to the complaint,

0:36:350:36:41

hasn't got any space to play in at all.

0:36:410:36:43

It's a wet and grey morning in Chaddesden,

0:36:470:36:50

and there's a complaint about a big dog living in a cramped space.

0:36:500:36:54

Edwina Davidson has been told that the dog is being kept in a birdcage.

0:36:540:36:58

But that's not all. The report also said it's a large German shepherd.

0:36:580:37:04

Oh, hi. I'm from the RSPCA. I had a call about a dog.

0:37:040:37:07

I had a concern about him being kept in a cage, in a small cage.

0:37:070:37:12

Yeah, he's in the cage, but he only goes in there because when I walk him

0:37:120:37:17

and come back. I mean, look at today.

0:37:170:37:20

-Yes.

-It's wet.

-It's not very nice, is it? Yeah.

-And if it's wet,

0:37:200:37:24

-she's just put in there.

-OK.

0:37:240:37:27

-But other than that, I've been out at half six this morning...

-Oh, right.

0:37:270:37:32

..and only just got back with her.

0:37:320:37:33

-What sort of dog is she?

-She's a sausage cross German shepherd.

0:37:330:37:37

Oh, right! I'm even more intrigued now to have a look.

0:37:370:37:40

-She won't grow any.

-Like a dachshund type cross German shepherd?

-Yeah.

0:37:400:37:45

-Right!

-She's fantastic.

-Oh!

-Jodie is her name.

0:37:450:37:49

I'm very curious to see her now.

0:37:490:37:51

With such an odd combination, Edwina's intrigued.

0:37:510:37:55

She's as seen to see what Jodie looks like as she is to see the cage.

0:37:550:38:00

Hello! Hello! Oh, there we are.

0:38:000:38:04

Well, that's not a birdcage, is it?

0:38:050:38:08

Hello, my darling! Aren't you cute?

0:38:080:38:11

And this is what a German shepherd crossed with a sausage dog looks like.

0:38:110:38:15

How long in the day would you say she's in here?

0:38:150:38:17

Two, maybe three hours.

0:38:170:38:19

-While I'm in, she's out.

-Right. So while you're in, she's out. OK. So why is she in here at the moment?

0:38:190:38:26

-Like I say, just come in, and she was wet.

-Right.

0:38:260:38:31

It's definitely too small for her to be in there for very long.

0:38:310:38:34

-Two hours maximum.

-She's never in it.

-Yeah.

-The only time I put her in is when she's wet.

0:38:340:38:39

Right. Obviously I've come round now and she's dry, so...

0:38:390:38:42

-Yeah, but her feet were wet.

-Right, OK.

0:38:420:38:45

You're beautiful, aren't you, baby?

0:38:450:38:47

Yeah!

0:38:470:38:49

Jodie's just nine months old, and as she's let out, it's clear she's full of life.

0:38:490:38:55

Edwina's concerned she's put in the cage because Josephine can't cope.

0:38:550:38:59

In all honesty, is she in there sometimes because she is very, very lively, because she is like this?

0:38:590:39:06

No, she's not in there because she's lively.

0:39:060:39:08

You're barmy, aren't you?

0:39:080:39:11

-I'll show you where she plays.

-Let's have a look and see what she's got outside.

0:39:110:39:15

Oh, right. Brilliant. OK.

0:39:150:39:18

Josephine says that Jodie gets plenty of exercise

0:39:180:39:22

and is keen to show off the space she has to play in.

0:39:220:39:26

My only concern is if she's in there for any length of time.

0:39:260:39:29

-No.

-Like I say, it's too small for her to be in there for very long.

0:39:290:39:34

I can only take your word for it, OK?

0:39:340:39:37

I swear on my life I look after her.

0:39:370:39:39

Yeah. OK.

0:39:390:39:41

Edwina's satisfied that Jodie is only put in the cage to stop her running around the house

0:39:410:39:46

when she's wet and she has a solution that will suit both owner and pet.

0:39:460:39:51

If you want a bit of peace and quiet for a bit, rather than just shutting her in there,

0:39:510:39:55

you can leave that open, you can just shut her in here,

0:39:550:39:58

-and she can get to her water and her food bowl and she won't knock them over.

-That's true.

0:39:580:40:03

-Do you think that would be a better idea?

-Oh, yes, definitely.

-Yeah?

0:40:030:40:07

Jodie is happy, well cared for and certainly loving.

0:40:070:40:10

Josephine thinks the world of her, and it's a job well done for Edwina.

0:40:100:40:15

Edwina's message may have got through to Josephine, but some jobs take a little more persistence.

0:40:190:40:25

A few streets away, Edwina's back to see if Sally, Sandy and Titch have a safer playground.

0:40:250:40:31

-Hiya, Sam. You all right?

-Hello!

0:40:340:40:36

Come to see how the gardening's going.

0:40:360:40:38

-Very good.

-Have you got bacon sarnies on the go? Right...

0:40:380:40:41

-How have you got on?

-Fine, actually.

0:40:410:40:44

Let's have a look.

0:40:440:40:46

Oh, that's better.

0:40:500:40:51

Edwina's firm but friendly approach has finally paid off.

0:40:510:40:55

How long did it take you?

0:40:550:40:57

-About two hours.

-OK. That's not bad. That's much better. Brilliant stuff.

0:40:570:41:04

-I got it all done in one day.

-That's great. Yeah?

0:41:040:41:06

Bet you feel better for it. Yeah?

0:41:060:41:08

I do. I can move round in my garden now.

0:41:080:41:10

It's hard to believe that just a few months ago this area resembled a rubbish tip.

0:41:100:41:15

It may not be in line for Britain In Bloom, but there's certainly

0:41:150:41:19

a great improvement.

0:41:190:41:20

That's fantastic.

0:41:200:41:21

Well done. Brilliant. Just keep on top of it, every day getting rid of anything that can hurt them.

0:41:210:41:26

Finally, Sally, Sandy and Titch have a safe space to play,

0:41:260:41:31

and Edwina leaves happy that Sam has finally taken on her advice.

0:41:310:41:36

You can always give me a call if there's any problems.

0:41:360:41:38

-Right, well, stay dry.

-Right, OK, then.

0:41:380:41:41

-Good luck.

-All right, then.

-All right, then. Cheers, Sam.

0:41:410:41:44

Well, I'm glad to see they've cleared up the garden at last.

0:41:460:41:49

It's taken quite a few visits, but it's looking much, much better.

0:41:490:41:53

There's less opportunity for the animals to injure themselves because they run around the garden like mad.

0:41:530:41:58

So that's great. And if they need any assistance in the future

0:41:580:42:01

they can give me a call. I'm pleased. Another job done.

0:42:010:42:05

If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime or a creature that needs immediate attention,

0:42:120:42:19

remember there are dedicated professionals out there who will answer your call around the clock.

0:42:190:42:24

They are the people we meet on Animal 24:7.

0:42:240:42:28

Next time...

0:42:310:42:35

anger management for Snowy the temperamental terrier...

0:42:350:42:38

That saying, "A bark is worse than a bite" but I'm not prepared to shove my hand in and find out.

0:42:380:42:43

..a cliff-hanger rescue for a mountain goat...

0:42:430:42:46

He doesn't seem to be able to get off that ledge, so we've got to do something about it today.

0:42:460:42:50

..and I help build a badger set with a difference.

0:42:500:42:54

They'll be under surveillance.

0:42:540:42:56

Like the Big Brother house, this place is rigged with cameras.

0:42:560:43:00

Hello! Can you see me there?

0:43:000:43:01

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:200:43:23

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:230:43:26

Series following people who protect and work closely with wildlife and domestic animals.

The race is on at Chichester harbour to try to save a beached whale. The RSPCA try to encourage one dog owner to clean up their act, and presenter Tom Heap needs the gentle touch to feed a group of baby mice.